Philly Cop Ran His Truck Into A Home, Faked Insurance Claim, Prosecutors Say
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
A now-former Philadelphia police officer was arrested Friday for allegedly running his pickup truck into the front of a home last year, then filing a false insurance claim to try to recoup money to cover the damages.
The officer, Thomas Ershaw, was employed by the department for 12 years and most recently assigned to the 35th District. A spokesperson for the department said Ershaw resigned in November.
The incident took place on Feb. 2, 2021, when witnesses said they saw a blue pickup truck strike the front of a home on the 6100 block of Ridge Avenue in Roxborough. A 911 caller told authorities they also saw the truck strike a SEPTA bus.
The person whose property was struck obtained surveillance footage that showed a blue Dodge Ram traveling in reverse alongside the bus, then suddenly jumping the curb and going into the front doorway of a home. The driver then drove back onto Ridge Avenue, around the front of the bus, and fled, police said.
Investigators with the department's Internal Affairs Bureau confirmed that Ershaw was the owner of the truck, and they discovered that he had filed an insurance claim saying an "unknown vehicle" had struck his Dodge Ram on Feb. 4, 2021, and fled the scene.
Ershaw faces charges of insurance fraud, theft by deception, and causing an accident involving damage to an attended property. He turned himself in to Internal Affairs on Friday.
His attorney and a spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 did not respond to requests for comment.
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